By John Besh
Andrews McMeel Publishing, $35.00, 264 pages

It’s so heartwarming to see books, particularly cookbooks designed to bring families together. All too often, when families are discussed, it is in a way of dysfunction, pain, suffering, bitterness, and deep wounds but there is great joy in families, healing, security, love and purpose. In My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking, the chapters are designed not by the meal as much as by the gathering. For example, Sunday Supper or School Nights give mouthwatering recipes for such occasions that are simplistic and comforting. For the preparer(s), this large cookbook totes several recipes per page offering not only pictures of the meal being directed but how the event might look with families enjoying the specific event; not in a food-commercial kind of way but in a family photo album kind of way, authentic somehow. The pictures add their own flavor to this well-rounded cookbook. It would work great as a coffee table book especially as a conversation starter but would also display nicely on your kitchen countertop or library. More importantly though, it would work best being used to start those family gatherings and create those moments of joy with your own family.

M. Chris Johnson